I was on antidepressants on and off for years (7 years?), with a few failed attempts at getting off of them, and have now been off of them for about 2 years and am doing great. I think I've come to know my body and know when I'm slipping backwards again, and it's during those times that I really focus on giving myself the things I need to be mentally healthy.. good diet, exercise, social interaction, etc. That has seemed to work for me since I got off the meds. I am NOT saying I think that works for everyone or knocking those that do take meds, at all. I think that if they make you feel better, why not take them? Life is too short to be miserable when there's a way out, even if it happens to come in pill form. I wouldn't be opposed to going back on them if I felt like I really needed to, but so far I'm doing okay. When I was on them, I had a hard time at first accepting that I needed a pill to make me happy, but you have to keep in mind that there's something wrong up there in your brain, and the drugs are fixing it, and bringing you back to normal. If it works, why not??
If you do come off them, make sure you're really conscious of your mental health and catch yourself immediately if you feel you're starting to slip again. Really make an effort to stay healthy.. keep up the working out, eat well, get enough sleep, stay on a schedule. Don't live in fear every day and freak out if you start to feel down for like 5 minutes...stressing about it can make you depressed! Just go about your business and take one day at a time. You and the people around you will know if it's not working. And if it doesn't work, there's no shame in going back, and maybe you can try to get off them again later.
Well that's my 2 cents. Good luck, let me know if you have any other questions!
Have you considered trying a natural antidepressant such as SAM-e or St. Johns Wort? Like you, I got plain old tired of being on different meds. My body would rebel after a few weeks, and I knew it was trying to tell me something. Meds are not for everyone - I don't think they were for me. I always envied the people where the Meds did work for them. I was happy for them, but at the same time, I just wanted to feel better,and didn't understand why I couldn't after having depression for so long.
I have been on SAM-e for about 2.5 years and it has made a tremendous difference. It is all natural amino acid that our bodies produce naturally but can decline as we age leading to depression or sad feelings, worthless, empty, etc. Since taking SAM-e I have not felt this way. You can find it in the Supplement Isle in any grocery store or Drug store, Nature Made is very good brand. I take 400mg once a day. Ask your Doctor about it and if he is not aware of it, he can go to the SAM-e dot com website and request literature and samples.
Actually I haven't thought about taking natural antidepressants... thanks for suggesting it Rianna.
As for the time being, I'm just going to take the meds. I find myself not doing as well when I'm questioning about the effectiveness of the AD... and seeing as that it has helped me so far, I'm just going to stop thinking about it; if time comes that I really feel the need to re-examine what is working or not working, I might bring up the subject of natural antidepressants to my psychiatrist.